Voyager 2 at Uranus



The Voyager 2 spacecraft, hurtling toward its January 24, 1986, closest approach to Uranus, is sending several surprises back to earth. One is the discovery of another moon; the other is the absence of expected radio noise at a distance less than 800 times the planet's radius.

As Eos went to press, a sixth moon had been discovered orbiting the planet. The moon, roughly 56 km in diameter, orbits Uranus every 18 hours, 17 minutes, 9 seconds. The new moon is closer to the planet (86,000 km) than the five previously known moons: Miranda (130,000 km), Ariel (192,000 km), Umbriel (267,000 km), Titania (438,000 km), and Oberon (568,000 km).